A heavy thunderstorm hit the villages of Madabani and Madodonga last Friday and left a number of houses roofless. Photo: Kaizer Nengovhela.
The rainy season is upon us again, and though some may appreciate the refreshment and nourishment it brings, to others – especially those who live in rural areas – the slightest rainstorm can mean destruction.
On 10 December, the villages of Madabani and Madodonga suffered greatly when a heavy hailstorm swept over the area. Several homes collapsed, rooftops were blown off, trees were uprooted and scattered all over the villages and electricity poles and cables severely damaged. More than 50 houses had been affected, including Muraleni Primary School and the Tshilwavhusiku Health Centre at Ravele.
For days after this destruction, residents were still drying out mattresses, blankets, clothes and furniture while trying to collect pieces of household items and anything that could still be salvaged. Most of the victims from this poor rural area are unemployed.
Mr Elelwani Rambau of Madabani’s six-room house was severely damaged. He recalls, “The wind swept through the village, and suddenly everyone ran for cover. Soon big raindrops started to pelt down, followed by loud cracks of thunder and streaks of lightning that lit up the darkened neighbourhood. Then my house’s roof started to rattle violently. The windows cracked and the walls started to shake. The roof sheets went flying.”
Ms Constance Machaba’s five-room house at Madabani and everything inside were also damaged. “I was inside the house when the storm started. I thought of hiding inside the wardrobe, but I became very afraid. The wind blew the roof off, and I was left inside the roofless ruin.
“All my furniture, blankets and groceries were damaged, and I do not have money to replace or repair them. I did not sustain any major injuries, but I am extremely shocked. It caught all of us by surprise as it happened so fast. I never thought that we would be left without a roof over our heads at this time of the year. We have lost everything, even our food. My children go to bed on empty stomachs,” Machaba said.
These affected households are pleading with the government to extend a helping hand in any way they can – even if they can just provide them with shelter.
The disaster-management team of the Vhembe District Municipality (VDM) was dispatched to all the affected areas to assess the extent of the damage. “The VDM and local municipality are jointly working very hard and dealing with various stakeholders in order to assist these families,” said Matodzi Ralushai, spokesperson for the VDM. The assessment is still ongoing.
Date:18 December 2021 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.